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Mumbai Tigers pull out of competitions, set to be disbanded | The Indian Express

Related. Newly-formed club Mumbai Tigers has decided to shut shop barely a year-and-a-half since it was formed. The club, which was owned by Dubai-based Dodsal Group, said they have been forced to take the decision considering that ‘Indian football was going nowhere’. While there is no official intimation yet of them disbanding the team, it has been reliably learnt that they will take no further part in football-related activities. The club also pulled out of the under-19 I-League and I-League second division on Wednesday. Incidentally, the same afternoon, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) released the schedule for the Maharashtra leg of the Under-19 I-League. According to the schedule, Mumbai Tigers were supposed to play the opening match of the tournament against reigning champions Pune FC on January 14. However, Mumbai Tigers team management decided in the evening that they will no longer be a part of Indian football and subsequently withdrew from the two competitions. The primary reason for them shutting shop, said team sources, was that the management ran out of patience and felt there was no proper return on their investment. Sources said the team had invested close to Rs 30 crore since it was formed. Non-availability of stadiums to play their home games was also a factor that frustrated the team’s owner Rajen Kilachand. “The management has been investing a lot money. However, there are no returns on the investment made. Moreover, the owner was getting impatient with the slow progress Indian football was making,” said the source. “Hence, during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the owner decided to withdraw the team from the under-19 league and second division I-League. With that, the club is also likely to end its operations.” The management communicated its decision to the AIFF on Wednesday evening. However, it did not say in the letter that they will be disbanding the club. “Mumbai Tigers sent us a letter informing that they will not be taking part in the two competitions. There is no mention of them shutting shop in the letter we have received,” I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said. The club was founded in May 2012 and announced its arrival with a bang by declaring that they were close to signing former Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre. The Frenchman too had confirmed via his Twitter account that he was close to signing for the Mumbai-based club. However, they failed to sign him owing to his wage demands. The club, nevertheless, managed to attract some of the top Indian players, including the likes of Steven Dias, and is coached by former Air India coach Bimal Ghosh. The team currently has 29 players in its roster, including a Senegalese forward. Mumbai Tigers were also offered a direct spot in this season’s I-League by the AIFF but they rejected the offer after initially accepting it, preferring to go via the conventional route by playing the second division.
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